Four Ways to Energize a Workforce

January 24, 2016

When you see an energized group of employees (and you can tell when a group is energized), do you ever wonder why this energy exists? Some businesses have it while others don’t. Could a business have a group of employees who are inherently energized and motivated? Perhaps, it could or maybe it is the business that energizes and motivates its employees rather than some inherent traits that the employees possess.

Here are four effective ways to energize a workforce:

Communication

No single employee or group of employees can be properly motivated without communication. Communication cannot only be from an employee’s immediate manager but communication from the top (owners or executives) is equally important. As a group, employees must know that they are considered to be an integral part of the business, which means they must feel informed. Every employee regardless of position wants to know how the company is doing…goal performance, new products or services expected, improvement plans, etc. Informed employees are engaged employees. Engaged employees are committed employees. Committed employees help drive a business forward.

Recognition

Employees love recognition. Just a little something to make the daily routine a bit different can have profound effects. Of course, everyone wants the recognition from the boss for a job well done. It is especially meaningful when co-workers know of the recognition. A monthly group meeting with all employees (or department employees based on the size of the business) is an appreciated way to recognize employees. Of course, the recognition must be for outstanding job performance rather than simply being the boss’s favorite employee.

There are other simple forms of recognition not directly related to someone’s job performance. Balloons, cards, or flowers for work anniversaries, birthdays, family events, etc. also add to an employee’s enjoyment. Mileage obtained from these small cost items far exceeds their monetary value. It tells an employee, “We care about you as an individual.”

Incentives 

Many times work incentives are only thought to mean monetary incentives. Certainly, monetary incentives are important and work to motivate employees; however, there are other incentives that can energize employees such as:

  • An unexpected day-off for something accomplished above and beyond the ordinary
  • An early release for the business or department accomplishing certain goals
  • A one-on-one lunch with the owner or manager
  • A dinner gift certificate for the employee and spouse or companion
  • A gift card 
  • Movie tickets

The list of incentives is only limited by one’s imagination. Think what special incentive you have received in the past from an employer or, perhaps, what you would have liked to receive. Now, put those in place for your employees.

Social Interaction

Employees can easily spend an equal amount of time if not more time with fellow employees than they do with their own families. It is because of this that social interaction at work is so important to develop camaraderie and cohesiveness as a group. The goal is not to force personal relationships but to develop teamwork and improve communication among co-workers. This can be accomplished with:

  • Breakfasts or lunches on the business premises  
  • Candy and popcorn breaks one afternoon a week
  • Bowling, sporting events, or other social activities
  • Teambuilding events 

Worth the Effort

Energizing a workforce does not come without effort. Businesses that have energized workforces put forth energy themselves to accomplish this very important goal. A workforce with the right attitude and energy can move a business into a successful future. On the other hand, when this is not accomplished, a business can remain in a neutral position. With an extremely competitive business landscape, it is much wiser to bet on what an energized workforce can do rather than what an unenergized workforce cannot do!